Be vivid, not vague.
By Adam Reynolds on Mar 26, 2020
Let’s start with a little game of spot the difference.
How are these two terms different?
- Practice social distancing
- Stay at home. Shop once a week.
The first is a new term. We‘ve all heard it a lot recently but it’s still conceptual. We kind of understand it, sort of. But it’s vague. Not concrete.
The second is not new. It’s a known term. More than that, it’s specific. It’s also visual. I can picture my home. I can picture myself staying there. I can picture myself going to buy food once a week.
The second term is not vague, it’s vivid. That’s the difference.
In the words of Peggy Noonan, a journalist at the Wall Street Journal and Ronald Reagan’s former speech writer…
Most of the important things you will ever say or hear in your life are composed of simple, good, sturdy words. “I love you.” “It’s over.” “It’s a boy.” “He’s dead.” These are the words of big events. Because they are big you speak with utter and unconscious concentration as you communicate them.
Now, more than ever, is the time for simple, good, sturdy words.
Now, more than ever, clear writing matters.